One hundred years ago today Sir Roger Casement along with his travelling companions, Robert Monteith and Daniel Bailey landed on the beach of Banna Strand Co. Kerry. This historic occasion will be commemorated in a State Ceremony which will be attended by President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins and Joe McHugh TD., Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
Casement and his companions landed on Banna Strand in the early hours of Good Friday 1916 after they left the German submarine they were travelling on after it failed to rendezvous with the ‘Aud‘, a disguised German ship that was carrying guns that were to be used in the Rising.
Casement was captured on the beach and taking to England to be jailed and interrogated. He was found guilty treason and hanged on the 3rd of August 1916.
President Higgins will give the keynote address at the ceremony followed by the laying of a wreath at the anchor of The Aud, which was recovered from Cork Harbour several years ago. There will also be performances by local groups and as well as the formal ceremony.
Joe McHugh the Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht said: “The State Ceremonial programme is the moment when the State, on behalf of the people of Ireland, pays tribute to the men and women who played a significant role in the events of 1916. It is an opportunity to remember those who lost their lives in the pursuit of our self-determination and democracy. Today, we honour humanitarian and Irish nationalist Sir Roger Casement, who along with Robert Monteith and Daniel Bailey played such a pivotal role in the events of 1916, and set Ireland on the road to independence.”
President Higgins will also visit a new exhibition in the Kerry County Museum entitled ‘Casement in Kerry: A Revolutionary Journey’, which takes visitors through a series of revolutionary journeys including how Roger Casement went from a servant of the Crown to becoming and important Irish Nationalist to his end on the gallows in Pentonville Prison. A centrepiece of the exhibit is the boat that took Casement to the beach. The boat, that is on loan from London’s Imperial War Museum, goes on public display for the first time in over 90 years.